Life through the lens of a miner

June 11, 2015

It’s likely that the average person will never see firsthand the origins of the materials that power the modern world, the people and processes that happen so we can use our computers, switch on our lights and drive our cars. 

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Pictured: Hugo Sharp, Resources Illustrated
 
Photographer Hugo Sharp set out to change that. To show the world what mining really looks like at the coalface. He has drawn from his experiences on site, and his passion for photography to start mining photography company, Resources Illustrated. His work now allows him to travel to mine sites all over the world, capturing real people and events with astonishing results.
 
 
Growing up in Sydney, Hugo attended UNSW where he studied Mining Engineering, working part-time during his studies in the Hunter Valley. Hugo then embraced the FIFO lifestyle in Queensland before taking a new role as an engineer in the Bowen Basin coal mines.
 
It was during his time working on site that Hugo first became interested in photography, as he witnessed events, people and striking landscapes (or minescapes as he prefers to call them) that he wanted to depict through the eyes of a miner.
 
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Pictured: A selection of Hugo's photography from resourcesillustrated.com
 
“I started getting into photography halfway through my time out on site and took every opportunity to shoot whatever I could; mining activities, flooded pits, people at work, mining landscapes (minescapes as I call them).” Hugo said.
 
“It's incredible to see how much we can sculpt the landscape when we put our minds to it,”
 
This chapter of working onsite was short lived, and Hugo returned to Sydney where he took a job working at an investment bank, working with mining companies. It was here that he came to realise that blending his passion for photography and interest in mining was the avenue he wanted to pursue. Hugo did his research and found a huge gap in the market. With a growing demand for capturing everything visually - both in business and our everyday lives - the solution became clear.
 
“There were a few companies that had good photography but the vast majority were using photos that just didn't do their scale, location or people justice. There's really no reason for it, in fact they're missing an opportunity,” he said.

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“The rise of sharing photos on Instagram and Facebook really shows how visually minded we have become as a society. It’s now essential for all types of communication to be accompanied by strong visuals to enhance the message and cut through the clutter,” he said.
 
This discovery led Hugo to set up mining photography business, Resources Illustrated. Through the company, Hugo works with clients in the mining, oil, gas and industrial sectors to create powerful still images used to enhance industry content.  Although the business is based in Australia, Hugo is now able to fulfil his passion of travelling around the world capturing the unseen side of mining. 
 
Hugo has worked on operational and corporate social responsibility assignments in the Northern Territory, even using drones to capture a completely fresh angle of mine sites.
 
“It's still early days for Resources Illustrated, and a tough time for the industry with prices so low, but I couldn't be happier to have been able to combine my two passions of photography and mining into one dream job.” Hugo said.
 
Check out resourcesillustrated.com for more amazing images captured by Hugo.

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